Saturday, February 02, 2008

NFL spoils church parties

This to me is a real desk-pounder and, perhaps worse, strikes me as pretty stupid. The National Football League is cracking down on churches who have Super Bowl parties -- at least those that are too big or are shown on too big a screen. Seems some genius in the league office decided it was time to cracks down on that "for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast, or any pictures ... is prohibited" clause.

Our church used to have Super Bowl parties in the parish hall, mainly for the fellowship. Apparently it's become quite popular with churches, which find them fun and a way to get teenagers and others who might be on the cusp of being churchgoers to set foot on a church property and maybe figure it might not be too bad to return for a service. But the NFL bans "public exhibitions" of games on screens larger than 55 inches (with an exemption for sports bars), and with larger congregations large screens are often part of the facilities already, for projecting words of hymns and such. Last year the NFL went after a church in Indianapolis, so this year lots of churches have gotten the word.

I think it's a really stupid thing for the NFL to do, potentially alienating people rather than protecting the franchise. Anyone else have an opinion?

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